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Posted: January 25, 2019,  in Press Releases & Articles

Introduction to S4A's Flight Planning System developed together with Qantas

On the surface, it seemed to be just another long haul flight, but for Qantas and Smart4Aviation it was anything but routine.
This “routine” flight was the first live flight test of what is anticipated to be the most sophisticated and efficient flight planning system available in the industry.

"This is the start of something really big", stated Qantas Program Manager - Geoff Bell; as he outlined how the event is a landmark achievement for Qantas, marking the final stages of a multi-year, multi-vendor project.

Qantas and Smart4Aviation have partnered on a ground breaking, state of the art flight planning system designed to provide strategic operational and commercial advantages that only a best of breed planning system can deliver”, explained Smart4Aviation CEO Michael Lewis. The planning efficiencies and resulting savings generated by this new system are particularly relevant against the backdrop of the current aviation environment of rising fuel and operating costs.

Underpinning the system is arguably the most advanced optimizer fielded in the aviation industry today. Using an advanced probabilistic roadmap algorithm, the optimizer was developed as a Qantas and Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) joint project.

Deployment of the system throughout the Qantas operation will be done on a fleet by fleet basis, focusing initially on wide-body aircraft. This first phase concentrates on achieving initial projected cost savings while subsequent phases will increase automation and target further operational efficiencies and savings.

Qantas expect the new flight planning system to deliver on all cost savings targets, meeting all objectives.

"To be a technology and innovation leader in flight planning is not something that is easily done", explained Smart4Aviation CEO Lewis. "However, this is exactly the goal we have undertaken with our Qantas partners."

From project inception, Qantas and Smart4Aviation agreed the goal of this next generation flight planning system was to create a single, common platform to integrate operational and business decisions to gain maximum efficiency, predictability and flexibility in flight operations, without ever compromising safety. Automation is key and central to the design strategy.
Dispatchers will simply be providing guidance to the system, and reacting to exception based alerts. This approach allows operations staff to focus on higher value tasks and for targeting increased efficiency and the ability to focus on planning the safest, legal and most cost effective way to transport the optimum amount of payload between two points. Even more importantly, the system allows for an unswerving commitment to safety and efficient flight operations

Data management and data exchange with other stakeholders in the flight planning process is also a core feature of this next generation flight planning system design. As Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) matures, carriers will need a platform to successfully collaborate with these external stakeholders in a bi-directional manner. Examples include: anticipated airport acceptance and arrival rates, parameters for ground delays as well airline cancellations, revised schedules and routes, trajectory optimizations for traffic patterns, etc.

To support this sharing of data, the system currently provides extensive AIXM and WIXM support. FIXM support will be a future implementation, together with support for such concepts as Target Arrival Time together with ATM and CDM integration.

The Probabilistic Road Map (PRM) optimizer - the “engine” of the system - itself state of the art, was developed as a Qantas and Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) joint project. The fully compliant AIXM navigational database is sourced from Frequentis.

Following additional Smart4Aviation applications round out the overall operational solution:

Smart4Aviation would be more than happy to organize a dedicated presentation for your airline about our Flight Planning Solution, other S4A’s Solutions, and our development plans for the future. Please contact us through info@smart4aviation.aero or through our contact information at www.smart4aviation.aero

Associated articles:

Posted: December 4, 2018,  in News

Partnership with MeteoGroup

London, 30 October 2018 - Smart4Aviation, one of the leading providers of software solutions for airline operations, has signed a cooperation agreement with MeteoGroup, the global weather authority. This partnership combines MeteoGroup’s extensive experience in weather forecasting and monitoring with the power of Smart4Aviation’s software platform, creating substantial benefits for airline and airport operations.

The parties intend to jumpstart their cooperation by integrating their standard products. The combination of S4A software with MeteoGroup Weather services results in an advanced operational predictive planning tool which can anticipate the impact of possible weather issues for the aviation industry.

Proactive planning allows airlines and airports to manage and minimize the impact of specific weather conditions through MeteoGroup services and products such as:
  • WingMaster; multi sensor deployment for intelligent determination of wing ice;
  • RunwayMaster; sensors runway conditions and need for de or anti-icing;
  • Lightning Tracker; to determine potential risk to ground crews as determined by the associated health and safety practices employed by location or airline.

Combined with S4A Smart COMM, all data and information can be easily be automatized, processed, filtered, adjusted and delivered to pre-defined user groups or roles within an airline or airport operation as well as to any 3rd party partners and contractors who can collaborate on operational problems and situations. In S4A Smart COMM, over 70 types of alerts can be established to warn of any operational conditions, enabling users a comprehensive view of airline operations in real time. Every minute of a delay can cost up to several dozen thousand dollars, this is why it is so important to automate this process and improve communication between all stakeholders.

Another product in Smart4Aviation’s portfolio is S4A Smart VIEW+, which can proactively track weather. This S4A’s flight tracking system is designed to combine real-time flight visualization and aircraft situational awareness by providing interactive presentations of aeronautical and geographical information tailored for comprehensive operational Flight Watch. S4A Smart VIEW+ can be also adjusted to display airport maps with all weather data taken from MeteoGroup sensors arranged in various locations across the airport network.

Smart4Aviation and MeteoGroup are now actively investigating how Big Data modelling can added further value, by adding an additional predictive dimension to their operational solutions.

As the weather impacts more and more business processes all around the world and in virtually any industry, there is a growing demand for actionable weather data and insights to be readily integrated in software and services”, says Donat Rétif, CEO of MeteoGroup. “The integration of our weather insights with Smart4Aviation’s software will enable aviation companies to instantly take maximum advantage of the most reliable weather data available. Helping them to improve their performance, serve customers better and increase their safety.

The Partnership with MeteoGroup allows us to leverage the core skillsets of both Smart4Aviation and MeteoGroup, to provide a complete solution for pro-active Weather monitoring and alerting. This synergy allows airlines and airports to significantly reduce costs related to flight delays and cancellations”, said Mike Lewis, President and CEO of Smart4Aviation.

Posted: July 17, 2018,  in News

All former Virgin America aircraft started to be operated in the S4A Smart LOAD

Smart4Aviation is very proud to be one of the most trusted vendors of Alaska Air Group. The use of S4A Smart COMM (communication and alerting) and S4A Smart LOAD (weight and balance) has successfully supported Alaska Air Group’s daily operations since 2014 delivering automation flight ratio at the level of 80%. Years of cooperation have resulted in a variety of achieved milestones and delivered projects, the last being connected with the strategic operational merger between Alaska Airlines and Virgin America.

On Tuesday, June 19th all former Virgin America flights ~(73 Airbus aircraft) started to be operated in the S4A Smart LOAD application under the aegis of the single Central Load Planning Department (CLP) (currently ~283 aircraft in total). 250 flights per day were added to the S4A Smart LOAD and S4A Smart COMM process. More than 3,200 employees have been positively affected by this change – primarily Airport Operations & Customer Service (AOCS) and Airbus pilots. Interestingly, the readiness of Alaska Air Group business units was significant to achieve desired merger goals, including the preparation of required updates to manuals and FAA regulatory approval. The payoff will be not only increased efficiencies at the stations, but also future IT savings thanks to decommission of Virgin America legacy systems. Cutover itself proceeded seamlessly, with no incidents reported. A significant benefit to this change is that former Virgin America Airbus aircraft can now support additional cargo items – which will increase Alaska Air Group revenue!

This result could be achieved thanks to successful roll-out of S4A Smart LOAD and S4A Smart COMM applications throughout former Virgin America flights operations.

S4A Smart LOAD application represents truly exception based weight and balance and load planning system. This solution fully automates and optimizes the load planning activity, engaging agents only when economic or loading irregularities occur. It is an extremely powerful yet simple to use solution, supporting both centralized and de-centralized airline load control models.

S4A Smart COMM system is a major advance in streamlining and improving airline communication processes. Efficient communication ensures efficient operations. Flight Dispatch, Operations Control, Weight and Balance, Maintenance, Pilots, Aircraft Routing and Crew Scheduling can now collaborate on operational problems and situations, using a common platform. Users have a common view of the airline's operation with critical information alerted in real time as changes occur.

The success story continues.
Posted: April 13, 2018,  in News

Loads of knowledge on Smart LOAD – join our free webinar!

Following the success of Smart4Aviation’s previous webinar, we are pleased to invite you to attend our next online session devoted to the issues of load planning and automated Weight & Balance solutions.
The webinar will be a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the Smart LOAD product which was developed as our response to the industry’s need to create a fully automated “Exception Based” Weight & Balance solution, automating the entire load planning, monitoring and execution process. With its integrated Smart COMM application, Smart LOAD guarantees improvement to the efficiency of every day Weight & Balance operations in which loading restrictions, irregularity handling, and direct communication are no longer challenges for airlines.

During the live software demonstration you will see how Smart LOAD provides airlines the following:
  • Flexibility to perform either centralized or de-centralized modeled load planning environment(s)
  • Fully automating their load planning, monitoring and execution while always optimizing the aircrafts Center of Gravity
  • Maximizing payloads while being focused on fuel saving
  • Reducing turnaround times and On-Time Performance
  • Increasing all around productivity
  • Ability to supply critical Weight & Balance related information to all individuals and departments without delay and this globally
  • Worldwide web access to Weight & Balance information
  • Reduce training time and aircraft certification
  • Transactions and interfaces traceability for quick investigation.

The Webinar is now available online on-demand.

    Agenda:
    • Smart4Aviation Company and Products Overview
    • Smart LOAD and COMM live demonstrations
    • Q&A session

    Thank you in advance for the allowing Smart4Aviation to once again share more of our unique operational solutions with you.

    We are looking forward to join us soon!
    Posted: April 5, 2018,  in Press Releases & Articles

    S4A’s Flight Tracking solution S4A Smart VIEW+ purchased by Air Austral

    Smart4Aviation, the leading provider of innovative software solutions for airline operations is pleased to welcome Air Austral as our latest partner to join our growing portfolio of international airlines. Headquartered in the beautiful Reunion Islands, Air Austral has selected S4A’s unique Smart VIEW+ flight tracking and monitoring solution for enhanced flight operational support.

    The newly acquired S4A Smart VIEW+ product will not only further enhance Air Austral’s portfolio of current S4A solutions (Briefing Solutions for Pilots) but will also significantly increase the air carriers operational awareness and daily performance. S4A Smart VIEW+ is designed to combine real-time flight visualization and aircraft situational awareness by employing interactive maps and intuitive characteristics of displaying both aeronautical and geographical information tailored for providing a comprehensive operational Flight Watch.

    Thanks to S4A’s partnership with FlightRadar 24, Air Austral will receive ADS-B aircraft tracking data from Flightradar 24's world-leading terrestrial receiver network. Furthermore, S4A provides ADS-C integration to retrieve data from ACARS position reporting which ensures complete flight following coverage of each flight in the S4A Smart VIEW+ system.

    S4A can also integrate with 3rd party weather data providers making this product a solution of choice for all airlines providing the most accurate and valid weather data available. Air Austral will receive weather data provided by DTN, one of the industry leaders in the delivery of weather information and supply and connectivity solutions. In addition to basic weather data, the DTN service also enables selected WX layers such as: radar and satellite weather, volcanic ashes, SIGMETs, AIRMETs, icing, lightning and much more.

    I would like to express our utmost gratitude to Air Austral for making S4A Smart VIEW+ another solution of choice. For us it is the best confirmation of the good quality and reliability of our products. We are all aware how challenging the Flight Following and Flight Watch can be on a daily basis. Smart4Aviation aims to not only meet, but also exceed the airline expectations related with the smooth and effortless operation of such monitoring platforms. We are sure S4A Smart VIEW+ will make this process much easier also for Air Austral”, said Mike Lewis, President and CEO of Smart4Aviation.

    "Air Austral keeps working in collaboration with Smart4Aviation and has just launched the Smart VIEW+ to ensure our Operational Control Center has the best tools to follow our aircraft fleet in flight.", said Olivier Jay, VP Flight Operations at Air Austral.
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